02 Nov Reconciliation Of Brothers
1 Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. 2 He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. 3 He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.
8 Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?”
“To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said.
9 But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”
10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.”
13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”
“But why do that?” Jacob asked. “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.”
16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir. 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth.
18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. 20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.
Reconciliation starts from God.
1) God is the originator of reconciliation.
- Reconciled us to Himself through Christ.
2) Gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
- To reconcile people to Him.
3) Also wants us to make peace with people.
- Our relationships with God and with people are interlinked.
- “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” <1 Jn 4:20-21>
- <Mt 5> 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
- Genuine prayer: Seek God with a heart to make things right.
- We can’t control if people will forgive us, but we try our best to restore harmony, “as far as it depends on us” <Ro 12:18>.
Steps to seeking reconciliation with people.
- Realign ourselves with God’s truth.
2) Be humble
- Swallow pride, confess wrong.
- “I am the worst of sinners who has received God’s greatest mercy” Don’t be over-defensive.
- To reconcile is harder than to fight, thus more commendable.
3) Practical restitution
- Sincere apology comes with real actions and compensation.
What about being the forgiving party?
- If even ungodly Esau could forgive, how about us?
- No one who offends us actually did us more wrong than we did God.
- One who is forgiven much will also love much <Lk 7:47>.
- What if the offender doesn’t come to seek our forgiveness?
- <Mt 18> “15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” [ESV]
- Forgive as the Father has forgiven you.
1) Can you think of anyone whom God is prompting you to reconcile with? Are you willing to take the initiative toward reconciliation, regardless of whether you are the offender or the offended?
2) Share any obstacles toward seeking reconciliation or forgiving others.
3) What are some practical steps you can take toward complete reconciliation?